Leonardo Bonucci will not be leaving AC Milan this summer according to CEO Marco Fassone

Manchester United were reportedly interested in Leonardo Bonucci a few days ago after it transpired that the Italian could leave AC Milan this summer following the ban on European competition enforced by UEFA after the club breached Financial Fair Play regulations.

AC Milan CEO Marco Fassone has used the Italian media to publicly rule out the option of the Italian, who signed for the club a year ago for a £35 million fee from Juventus, leaving the club this summer. Fassone has insisted that the Italian club were under no pressure to sell the 31-year-old this summer. Reported by the Manchester Evening News, Fassone is quoted as saying:

“Leo is our captain, he is not one of the players we are discussing or negotiating. He is one of the team’s strong points and he will stay with us for a long time.”

United manager Jose Mourinho has been seeking an experienced leader for the central defence. Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld has been long reported as the solution but with Spurs seemingly holding out for more than £70 million to part with the Belgian defender this summer, who has a clause in his contract to leave for just £25 million next summer, a deal seems a long way off from becoming a reality.

United have also been linked to Jerome Boateng of Bayern Munich who had previously suggested he could be up for a new challenge this summer and the Bavarian club suggested that it would take an offer of £43 million or more for them to part with the German international, who was on the sidelines to see his side eliminated from the FIFA World Cup last week. So far this summer, any player the club has held an interest has become costly.

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was suggested to be another option to Alderweireld but the Italian club were said to not be keen on selling the player, also demanding a high fee for his services. When United are interested in players of a certain position, the transfer fee of the said players tends to become massive fees as United are able to afford to pay them.

However, with Daley Blind linked to a possible return to Ajax this summer, there will most likely be a place in the team for a new arrival. Mourinho has spent upwards of £61 million on both Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof in his two summer transfer windows so far, the former showing his abilities despite suffering a recurrent injury last season and failing to get into the squad for the final match of last season, the Emirates FA Cup final, which United lost 1-0.

Having both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones at the club has started to become a liability, despite Smalling finishing the season in much better form that he had started but Jones, an injury liability, despite a few strong performances at times, became liability once again, seemingly continuing to do so for England at the World Cup in his only appearance against Belgium, a match England lost last week.

It will be important for Mourinho to find a leader at the back this summer, someone who can lead and command his defence. Someone like Nemanja Vidic or Rio Ferdinand. If a player such as Bailly of Lindelof can do this, the latter has been strong in the World Cup for Sweden, earning a place in the quarter-finals after his country beat Switzerland on Tuesday afternoon, perhaps that leader could already be at the club. Heading into the new season with both Smalling and Jones could well be another calamity in the making.

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